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When I use my ASA IFR plotter and I'm working off a VOR, what direction am I getting? True course, true heading, magnetic heading, magnetic course?

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  • $\begingroup$ I trimmed down your question a little to focus on the specific VOR question. Your broader question of "how do I use a plotter?" is fairly broad and might not fit this site's Q&A style well. If you aren't able to follow the instructions then you can certainly ask about that, I'd just suggest focusing on one specific task or issue at a time. And it would be great to include the text of the instruction and what you've already tried or understood. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Dec 10, 2020 at 17:15

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If you are using a sectional chart and a plotter only, with no other information, remember the following:

  • If you are using the plotter relative to the sectional grid lines, you are measuring True Course.
  • If you are using the plotter relative to the compass rose around the VOR, you are measuring Magnetic Course.
  • True and Magnetic Heading can not be measured directly using the sectional and plotter. It must be calculated. You need to have the wind speed and direction to calculate any heading direction. You can calculate True Heading from Magnetic Heading. You can calculate Magnetic Heading from True Heading.
  • If you are in the aircraft, you can measure your Magnetic Heading by looking at your Magnetic Compass. You can calculate your True Heading from the Magnetic Heading, using the Magnetic Deviation, and the Magnetic Variation. Conversely, you can calculate your Magnetic Heading from your True Heading using the Magnetic Deviation, and the Magnetic Variation.
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